Professional instructors at Sacramento Hang Gliding impart the joy of soaring through the atmospheric boundary layer by launching gallant gliders skyward from their Rancho Murieta training site. During the four-hour introductory lesson, instructors fill in fledgling fliers on flight theories, delving into scientific explanations as well as gravitational myths. Students become acquainted with their air-traversing apparatus during a pre-trip inspection and then spend some time rehearsing navigational inputs and movements on a stimulator stand. Afterward, students kick off from shallow slopes to increasingly higher hills as the instructor gallops alongside.
The press certainly likes California Family Fitness, granting the exercise venue such awards as a top spot on KCRA-3's 2012 A-List and Sacramento News and Review's Best of Sacramento 2012 Award. The press, however, isn't the top priority for the gym's staff; they believe that, to quote their about CFF page, “awards don't greet you at the door.” Instead, they depend upon their dedicated staffers at the front desk, chaperones at the Kidz Club play zone, and personal trainers to make families of clients feel at home. Certified personal trainers take aspiring exercisers of all ages through regimens that make use of the 16 available locations' ample workout machinery. Seasoned instructors, meanwhile, hold group fitness classes, free with a membership, fostering community as they incinerate calories during high-energy Zumba, step aerobics, Turbo Kick, and Hip Hop Hustle. Nine of the locations boast pools that host swim lessons taught by certified water-safety instructors.
While hitting the gym, parents can drop wee ones at childcare havens lined with playgrounds and age-appropriate investment manuals. After breaking a sweat on the exercise floor, clients can also shed excess body moisture in saunas and tanning beds.
The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
During her college years, Kristin Walton—like most students—gave into the lure of alcohol and fast food, which led to the dreaded freshman 15...and then some. With her jeans fitting a bit too snuggly, the former competitive synchronized swimmer knew she needed to make a change. She started with yoga a few times a week, but it wasn’t downward dog that sparked her weight-loss—it was a local boot camp. From there, Kristin cleaned up her diet, enhanced her muscle definition, eventually shed 40 pounds, and gained a NASM personal training certification.
Today, she returns the favor by running her own boot camp and personal training facility, where she coaches students of all ages and athletic abilities through circuit-style training that uses body-weight exercises, kettlebells, and TRX training machines. Unlike traditional boot camps, Kristin trades in a hoarse throat and steam-emitting ears for heart-pumping music and constructive motivation; she never lets a student perform a move incorrectly and always helps less experienced exercisers make adjustments. She also doles out one-on-one advice and motivation during personal training sessions and directs clients to a blog full of healthful recipes.
Since 1958, players have migrated to Cordova Golf Course in order to try their hands, woods, and putters at the public course's 18 holes and to calibrate their swings at the driving range or with lessons. PGA professional Jacob Marta tailors swing instruction to an individual's needs and physical limitations, helping golfers attain their own natural, repeatable swing motion. Creating a comfortable, encouraging atmosphere, Jacob also takes his instruction onto the course, where he helps players knock strokes off their scorecards. The same atmosphere extends to junior clinics, in which youngsters can learn all facets of the game, including rules and basic etiquette.
Spanning about 4,832 yards, the course challenges golfers of all skill levels with well placed trees and three lakes boasting the combined gravitational pull of a small planet. A smooth cart path allows players to ferry their clubs swiftly from hole to hole, or head over to the clubhouse to catch a drink or meal at Stu's Bar and Grill. Cordova Golf Course also houses an illuminated driving range where golfers can launch Srixon range balls or calcified tangerines off of grass and mat hitting areas.
Mike Johnson started at Dolphin Scuba Center & Swim School as an entry-level staffer but soon turned his lifelong passion for water into a promising career. Quickly, he became the manager and, at the tender age of 21, the owner of the store—a water-exploration supplier originally founded as a swim school almost 40 years ago.
Today, the PADI five-star facility boasts one of the largest selections of underwater gear in North America, including top brands of scuba, swimming, and snorkeling equipment. Johnson and his team still offer private, one-on-one swimming lessons with certified lifeguard instructors but have branched out into scuba classes. Introductory courses work their way up to professional-level training, all within a pool heated to 92 degrees—the exact temperature of the president’s nightly bath. Students can even test out their newfound skills during scuba-diving trips to the likes of Mexico, the Philippines, and Fiji.